(Author Note: There may be content within this article that is considered GM knowledge (Dawnbringer content) which wasn't filtered during the SummerCamp writing rush. Read accordingly!)

I always know when I pass the border into the lands of the Lithine, where the dreary path gives way to stones painted in every color, some faded in the sunlight and others brightened by the freshest coat of paint.   So beautiful, it almost makes you forget they've done this for a reason.
— Traveler to the Earthen Kingdoms
  Stonemarking is a cultural ritual performed by the people of Lithica to ward off creatures of Fogstone.

Myth and Belief

The people of Lithica, the Lithine, tell myriad tales of nefarious and benign creatures alike, who hide amongst the natural stones and stone walls of their homeland to various ends. These tales, including the well-known and very dark Tales of Fogstone, are equal part fable and contemporary cultural belief.   Thus many of the tales within, even the least believable, are believed and observed by some as truth, prompting certain cultures among the Lithine to adopt the practice of stonemarking.

Painted Walls

This practice is a simple one in nature, embracing a principle which appears to be universal through primarily the Fogstone Tales: the creatures of Fogstone cannot imitate painted stones. Prevailing belief states that the creatures who hide within the mirage images of stone are only capable of conjuring illusions of bare, natural stone, unmarked by humanoid hand.   As a result, many settlements in Lithica are surrounded by stone surfaces painted with all manner of designs and patterns, imagery and language.

Seeing the Good

While most Lithine cultures do engage in this practice, there are some who refuse, claiming it deters not only the dangerous creatures, but the benevolent as well. Settlements with strong belief or veneration for such benevolent creatures, those which do not fall within the same nefarious realm as the Fogstone creatures, will opt to leave the stones which surround them fully bare.
Curate your experience!

Game Masters: Know all of the secrets!
Players: Follow and explore!
Precautions are needed in a culture where creatures lurk in the stones of their walls
by Strixxline via Midjourney
Related Locations
Earthen Kingdoms
Related Ethnicities
Related Myth
Tales of Fogstone

Painted Cities
The practice of stonemarking earned Lithica the title of "The Land of Painted Cities," despite several regions in which the practice is not as widespread. Not wishing to fully pale in comparison, settlements who do not practice stonemarking will instead opt to paint their structures and tapestries in the patterns and designs common to those used in the practice, cultural imagery common to the Lithine people as a whole.

Cover image: by Strixxline


Author's Notes

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